According to UNHCR figures, the past years of conflict in Ukraine have resulted in the internal displacement of 1.5 million people. In a country that is already facing considerable financial and social challenges, the integration of such a large number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) puts a massive strain on local communities.

 

Within this context, streetfootballworld, Cross Cultures Project Association, the Football Federation of Ukraine and the All-Ukrainian Foundation for Children’s Rights have teamed up to build community cohesion in nine of the most heavily impacted regions of Eastern Ukraine – Kharkiv, Luhansk, Dnipropretrovsk, Zaporizhya, Donetsk, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Odessa and Kiev.

 

Initiated in September 2017 with support from the European Commission (DG Devco EuropeAid), the project aims to mobilise young people from different backgrounds, internally displaced and from host communities and to enable encounters between them through after-school sports activities (Open Fun Football Schools). To facilitate dialogue between these groups in aplethora of communities, the project is engaging and bringing together community sports organisations, schools, community police, parents and local authorities through best practice seminars. The collective expertise and knowledge will then be spread through the creation of a manual for instructors and coaches as well as a publication on social integration and inclusion through grassroots sports.

 

During the project period that runs up to September 2021, four youth camps are being facilitated where volunteer coaches are trained to become young leaders and take on responsibilities in their communities to strengthen civic engagement and motivate young people towards more inclusive and empathic behaviour with all members of their communities.

 

This programme is co-funded by the European Union. 

 
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